AmBank penalised for failing to report suspicious transactions in Najib’s accounts: BNM Manager

08 May 2019 / 16:21 H.

KUALA LUMPUR: Bank Negara Malaysia’s (BNM) Financial Intelligence and Enforcement Department manager, Ahmad Farhan Sharifuddin told the High Court here today that AmBank was fined for failing to report suspicious transactions in Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak’s (pix) accounts.

Cross-examined by lawyer Harvinderjit Singh, the prosecution’s fourth witness said the offence committed by the bank was failing to report suspicious transactions in the former prime minister’s accounts, from the opening to the closing of the accounts.

The witness testified on the 15th day trial of Najib, who is facing three counts of criminal breach of trust, one count of abusing his powers and three counts of money laundering involving SRC International funds totalling RM42 million.

Harvinderjit: Can you specify the particular transactions? It was before or after 2013?

Ahmad Farhan: I could not specify but it was from the opening and closing of the accounts, all transactions within that period.

When asked by lead counsel Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah whether Najib would have been alerted if AmBank had reported suspicious activities in his accounts, the witness said the provision under Amlatfa did not permit warnings about suspicious transactions.

“So, Najib would not have been alerted. It is amounting to tipping-off,“ he said.

Muhammad Shafee: I suggest to you that if AmBank had reported the suspicious transactions, my client would have been alerted and the whole matter could have been avoided.

Ahmad Farhan: I have no idea because as far as I am concerned, I was only tasked with investigating the suspicious transactions.

When asked about the seizure of BlackBerry and Samsung phones during the raid conducted at the AmBank branch, the witness said he was not aware of the reason the phones were seized at the time and in fact, he did not even know that the items were seized.

“It was not necessary for my investigation,“ he said, adding that he only handed over the phones along with an analysis report to the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission in August 2015, after the Forensics Department had extracted data from the phones.

Muhammad Shafee: Do you keep an investigation diary when you conduct the investigation? The witness replied, “Yes, in the system.”

Hearing before High Court judge Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali continues. — Bernama

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